NFL Defends Two-Game Suspension for Domestic Violence Incident
The NFL is defending Commissioner Roger Goodell's decision to impose only a two-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice in connection with an offseason domestic violence incident.
Critics jumped on Goodell last week, highlighting the fact that NFL players have received harsher suspensions for marijuana use and faulting him for not making a stronger statement about domestic abuse.
Adolpho Birch, senior VP of labor policy and government affairs, told ESPN Radio on Monday that the league feels the punishment is "appropriate."
"It is multiple games and hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think that's fair to say that doesn't reflect that you condone the behavior. I think we can put that to rest," said Birch, adding that it is "absolutely clear to all involved that the NFL does not condone domestic violence in any way and will not tolerate it in our league."
Rice was involved in an altercation with his then-fiance at an Atlantic City hotel and part of it was captured on surveillance video. The video, which was obtained in February by TMZ, appeared to show Rice dragging his unconscious wife out of an elevator by her hair.
The couple has since married and Rice's wife declined to press charges. Rice was indicted, but if he completes a pre-trial intervention program, he will avoid jail time.
Sandra Smith asked Dr. Ablow for his take on the fact that Rice's wife was reported to have been the aggressor.
"You don't hit women. That's the bottom line. ... If the NFL thinks he was wrong to beat up his wife and render her unconscious, he's gone. We don't need OJ Simpson again," he said.
Katie Pavlich argued that the league has had a much larger cultural problem for decades involving violence by players off the field.
Watch the full discussion above.